The Deadliest Disaster At Sea Killed Thousands, Yet Its Story Is Little-Known
In the final months of World War II, 75 years ago, German citizens and soldiers fleeing the Soviet army died when the “Wilhelm Gustloff” sank. The death toll from its sinking numbered in the thousands, some put it as high as 9,000.
London Underground 1970-1980 By Mike Goldwater
The first thing that strikes anyone who regularly rides on the London Underground is how clean it looks in Mike Goldwater’s photographs. Homeward bound tourists keen to recapture the thrill of minding the gap and cooling their heels on overcrowded platforms are not offered a range of signature scents.
The Real Lord Of The Flies: What Happened When Six Boys Were Shipwrecked For 15 Months
When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in the Pacific Ocean in 1965, it turned out very differently from William Golding’s bestseller which sold tens of millions of copies.
The Oldest Tattooing Family In The World
Wasim Razzouk is a tattoo artist in Jerusalem’s Old City. Ink runs deep in his family. The Razzouks have been tattooing visitors to the Holy Land for 500 years (and in Egypt for 200 years before that). Christian pilgrims flock to Razzouk Tattoo to get a cross tattoo based on one of the designs on wooden stamps that have been in the Razzouk family for generations.
Into The Unknown
It was December 14, 1912. Thirty years old, already a seasoned explorer, Douglas Mawson was the leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE), a 31-man team pursuing the most ambitious exploration yet of the southern continent. What followed was one of the most terrifying survival stories of all time.
Why 40% Of Vietnamese People Have The Same Last Name
The 14 most popular last names in Vietnam account for well over 90 percent of the population. The 14 most popular last names in the US? Fewer than 6 percent. In Vietnam, the most popular last name is Nguyen.
How A Single Mom Created A Plastic Food-Storage Empire
The story of Tupperware is a story of innovation and reinvention: how a new kind of plastic, made from industrial waste material, ended up a symbol of female empowerment. The product ushered women into the workforce, encouraging them to make their own money, better their families, and win accolades and prizes.
Germany’s First Postwar Army
In 1951 Germany’s first postwar armed forces unit was formed – the Bundesgrenzschutz or Federal Border Guard. Until the formation of the Bundeswehr in 1955, it was effectively Germany’s army. Armed and equipped from the old wartime Wehrmacht, the BGS guarded the inner German border between East and West Germany.
How The Dumb Design Of A WWII Plane Led To The Macintosh
For all the triumph of America’s new planes and tanks during World War II, a silent reaper stalked the battlefield: accidental deaths and mysterious crashes that no amount of training ever seemed to fix. At first, pilots took the blame for crashes. The true cause, however, lay with the design. That lesson led us into our user-friendly age—but there’s peril to come.
Inside The Abandoned Babylon That Saddam Hussein Built
In the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam Hussein became obsessed with the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. Saddam saw himself as a modern reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, and to prove it, he spent millions building a massive reconstruction of Babylon.
How Iran Threw The World’s Greatest Party In A Desert
In 1971, Iran threw an extravagant and exclusive party to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the Persian empire. The party had a grandeur never seen before in the world’s recorded history. It proved to be a stepping stone for the rise of the Iranian revolution and the fall of the Iranian Monarchy that changed the country forever.
Henry Lee Lucas Was Considered America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer. But He Was Really a Serial Liar.
Henry Lee Lucas provided accounts that closed 197 murder cases, but now, a new five-part Netflix series is exploring the still-mounting evidence that almost all of these confessions were lies—and that hundreds of actual murderers have gone free.
The Fascinating Story Of McLaren’s Most Iconic F1 Car
The McLaren MP4/4 remains Formula 1’s most successful machine, with a 93.8% win ratio that helped Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost storm to victory in 15 out of the 16 races during 1988. In 1988 McLaren had it all, a brilliant cocktail that helped it deliver one of the most dominant cars the sport has ever seen.
The Forgotten History Of How Automakers Invented The Crime Of “Jaywalking”
If there’s traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there’s a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green. Fail to do so, and you’re committing a crime: jaywalking. It’s the result of an aggressive, forgotten 1920s campaign led by auto groups and manufacturers.
The Peruvian Corruption-Buster Bigger Than Mueller
With his implacable pursuit of the presidential trio, the corruption-busting prosecutor José Domingo Pérez has established an international template for how to prosecute former heads of state on graft charges.
How A Volcanic Eruption Helped Create Modern Scotland
Over seven terrible years in the 1690s, crops failed, farming villages emptied, and severe famine killed up to 15% of the entire population of Scotland. Soon after, the formerly independent nation joined Great Britain. Now, researchers suggest volcanic eruptions thousands of kilometers away may have helped spark this political transformation.
How The CIA Turned The Tables On Soviet Industrial Espionage
When French President Mitterrand tells President Reagan in July 1981 that the KGB has been stealing Western technology, it confirms Reagan’s distrust of the Soviet Union. Reagan fears that stolen technology will help the Soviet Union complete a giant engineering project, the Trans-Siberian pipeline.
How Half A Tonne Of Cocaine Transformed The Life Of An Island
In 2001, a smugglers’ yacht washed up in the Azores and disgorged its contents. The island of São Miguel was quickly flooded with high-grade cocaine – and nearly 20 years on, it is still feeling the effects.
A Secret Cupid Is Emerging From A 17th-Century Vermeer
During a routine round of conservation on Johannes Vermeer’s 17th-century Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, art detectives realized that a section of the canvas had been painted over after the Dutch artist’s death in 1675, concealing a cupid figure.
Old Tech’s New Wave, Or Why We Still Love Faxes, Pagers And Cassettes
Once seen as cutting edge, many of yesterday’s gadgets are – surprisingly – still in use or are making a comeback. But why is it that we are turning to retro solutions more frequently?
You Can Own This Former ICBM Silo In The Arizona Desert
A former Titan II missile complex, the complex is a fixer upper and ready to become one of the few homes that once stood ready to pummel America’s enemies with the destructive force of 9,000,000 tons of TNT. The realtor posted a listing price of just $395,000.